New Developments in Second Wave Positive Psychology

Since my last President’s report, many exciting things have happened, reflecting the growth and impact of INPM’s mission.

The first is that, finally, INPM’s family of websites (www.meaning.ca, http://www.existentialpsychology.org, and www.inpm.org) will be consolidated into one newly developed website. I am most grateful to Sunshine Coast Health Center, our partner and sponsor, which will take on this huge task and cover all the costs. One of the sections of the new website will be devoted to Second Wave Positive Psychology. The new website will be released before the Meaning Conference.

The second is the forthcoming Meaning Conference. We will launch the first Second Wave Positive Psychology (PP2.0) Summit, and invite leading researchers to explore the scope and contour of PP2.0. At the heart of this movement is the recognition that embracing the dark side of human existence is the precondition for understanding human flourishing. We can enjoy happiness and well-being only to the extent we are able to cope effectively with the stresses and predicaments of everyday life.

Recently, I have taken part of a short film produced by Lesley Lyle and Dan Collinson, in which I articulate my view that the future of positive psychology (PP) lies in existential PP. I invite you to view this short film and find out what I have to say as compared with other positive psychologists.

Lesley and Dan are the founders of the non-profit website The Positive Psychology People, which has more than 24,500 followers in less than three years on Facebook. This phenomenal growth indicates the success of their open-minded approach, which wholeheartedly embraces my EPP or PP2.0.

According to Lesley, “They (Lesley and Dan) approached some of the most well known names in positive psychology and asked them ‘What exactly is positive psychology?’ They recorded the responses of these Skype calls and turned the non-scripted, unrehearsed replies into a unique short film.”

The third is the professional education program being developed by Marie Dezelic, Lilian C. J. Wong, and myself. It will be the most comprehensive certificate program to equip health professionals with the necessary competencies to help clients with meaning in life issues, from finding one’s calling to resolving the existential crises facing terminal patients.

Fourthly, I have started writing and publishing my autobiography in online weekly instalments. Many people have asked me to write a book about meaning in life for lay people; this is intended for meeting this need. My autobiography is intentioned entitled A Lifelong Search for Meaning: Lessons on Virtue, Grit, and Faith, and documents how I have discovered the principles of meaning at different stages of development.  Embedded in my life story is also the inside story of the evolution of PP.

Finally, there has literally been an explosion of research on meaning. In the last two weeks alone, I have had the privilege of reviewing six manuscripts from six different journals, all focusing on some aspects of meaning. There is a great deal of creative energy in meaning research. INPM has had a major part in this development through our Meaning Conferences and journal publications.